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Moderna has a combination flu and Covid-19 vaccine in preclinical development.

Eugene Hoshiko/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


Modern

announced on Tuesday a program to develop a combined vaccine to protect against Covid-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. The company has discussed the program at length in the past as a step in its long-term plan to develop a single annual booster vaccine that protects against a range of respiratory viruses.


Modern

(ticker: MRNA) is already testing a standalone influenza vaccine, a standalone RSV vaccine and various versions of its Covid-19 vaccine, and has a combined influenza and Covid-19 vaccine in preclinical development.

The new program, which will be known as mRNA-1230, represents part of Moderna’s game plan for the post-pandemic era. In various presentations over the past few months, Moderna executives laid out a plan to develop what the company called an “annual pan-respiratory booster” vaccine.

The plan begins with a Covid-19 booster in the fall of 2022 that includes protection against the Omicron strain. The company would then regularly expand the shot to protect against Covid-19 and influenza, then Covid-19 and influenza and RSV.

Progress on the Moderna flu vaccine, a key part of the strategy, has been uneven. Early data disappointed investors, and in January Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel appeared to reset expectations at an investor conference, saying the company had no plans for the vaccine to be better. than the best flu vaccine currently on the market.

“Our goal was never to have the best flu vaccine,” Bancel said at the time. “The idea of ​​having a vaccine as good as the best flu vaccine on the market, and Covid in one dose, is something that governments are very interested in.”

Respiratory syncytial virus causes mild cold-like symptoms in healthy adults, but can lead to life-threatening illness in infants and the elderly. Moderna is one of several companies developing an RSV vaccine; there are none currently approved in the United States

In addition to the RSV/Covid-19/flu vaccination program, Moderna also announced on Tuesday another program aimed at developing a vaccine to protect against the four so-called endemic human coronaviruses, common viruses that cause a large proportion of infections. airways around the world. .

“Our goal is to develop vaccines to fight respiratory infections, and possibly to combine several of them into a single annual booster vaccine with the aim of reducing the significant morbidity and mortality caused by these viruses,” the president said. of Moderna, Dr. Stephen Hoge, in a Tuesday. declaration.

Modrena shares rose 2% to $178.80 in recent trades, while the


S&P500

was up 1.2%. The stock is down 30% this year.

Moderna is hosting an investor event Thursday it calls Vaccine Day to discuss its vaccine programs.

Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected]